tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 11, 2010 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
going on here. sometimes people have congenital heart defects that they are born with, or it could be just a complete fluke. people sometimes get strokes from things like yoga or a chiropractor who manipulated someone or something like that. it can be just a strange little trauma that causes a stroke. >> hey, elizabeth, thanks so much. we appreciate you taking time to take us through this. wolf blitzer is going to have the latest on it as well. here now is wolf and "the situation room." >> thank you, rick. happening now, trading blame for the gulf oil spill, executives pointing fingers at one another as lawmakers try to get to the bottom of who and what caused the disaster. also, hillary clinton rolling out the welcome matt for the afghan president hamid karzai before his talks with
president obama tomorrow. how far is the obama administration willing to go to ease tension with its crucial ally with the war on terror? and we'll have the latest on the condition of the delaware attorney general, bo biden. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." more than 4 million gallons of oil is tainting the gulf of mexico right now and threatening wildlife. crews don't know exactly when or if they'll be able to plug the well that's been gushing for weeks. this is their next best hope. check out these new pictures of what's called the top hat. that's a smaller containment device being prepped for use this week after a giant dome failed to stop the spill over the past weekend. we learned just moments ago that the top hat is on its way to the well site and could reach it by
this evening. bp has released very limited underwater video of the leaking well and eflts to cap it. here in washington, the obama administration is trying to show it's on top of this huge crisis. it announced a new plan to split up a key interior department agency that oversees offshore drilling with another part of that agency dedicated to inspecting rigs and enforcing safety and collecting royalties and fees. is there a built-in conflict of interest there? i'll speak about that with the interior secretary ken salazar. that's coming up ahead. in the meantime, top executives for the three oil companies primarily involved in this huge spill face very angry lawmakers up on capitol hill today. ryan todd has been covering this story for us. these lawmakers are angry and for good reason. >> they are, because the blame game has started. it started shortly after this blast, wolf.
it's been tough all along to get answers on the cause of this blast. we still don't have them. one reason why, there are three powerful companies in charge of this operation. the drilling rig is owned by transocean. the blowout preventer that failed owned by transocean, made by someone else. the cementing operation, which looks increasingly crucial in this equation, run by halliburton. but the overall operation, the decisions, the key decisions, bp was in charge of that. today, all three companies tried to deflect responsibility on each other. as the leaders of the three key companies involved, these men are supposed to have the answers. almost a month after this catastrophic blast, they couldn't point to a cause. but they did have plenty of blame for each other. >> transocean, as owner and operator of the drilling rig, had responsibility for the safety of drilling operations. >> reporter: in the hallway, i asked transocean's chief executive if he accepted that.
steven newman didn't answer. but in his testimony, he did dispute bp's accusation that the failure of transocean's blowout preventer caused the accident. and he repeatedly blasted the oil giant that's been his company's close partner saying bp was responsible for the work as operator of the rig. it came during questions about something that happened on the rig shortly before the explosion. according to accounts of rig workers in "the wall street journal," there was an anomaly. heavy drilling fluid was pumped into the well to stop gas from escaping. but then in an unusual move, the mud was moved before a cement plug could be put in. it was done after someone asked permission from the minerals management service. >> do you know whether bp made that decision or did transocean make that decision? >> because bp are the operator of the bell and bp are the
permanent holder and bp have the relationship with the mms, if there was a discussion between somebody and the mms about whether or not it was appropriate to proceed in a particular fashion, that conversation would have taken place between bp and the mms. >> reporter: halliburton was in charge of the cementing operation, but halliburton's executives also deflected. >> if a discussion took place, it would be with the leaseholder and the -- >> what knowledge do you have about a decision being made to remove the mud before the plug was finished? >> the only information that we have that it was part of the well program. >> reporter: now, bp's executive said he had not reviewed that procedure and would not comment. contacted by cnn, a spokesman would also not comment, citing the pending investigation. >> and this whole restructuring of this key agency, as we've been pointing out, it now seems that they're acknowledging there
was this built-in conflict of interest. >> there clearly was, and the interior secretary is going to split it up. the inspection, investigation and enforcement divisions of the minerals management agency will be separate and independent from what they call the leasing revenue collection. they collect royalties from the energy giants on behalf of the taxpayers, at the same time they're enforcing the rules against those energy giants. it's clearly a conflict and now secretary salazar is going to address that. >> i'll be speaking with him later this hour about this. but this cozy relationship -- >> there's a big accusation there. >> between the department of interior and these oil and natural gas companies. thank you very much, brian, for that. let's get to breaking news out of london. britain has a new prime minister. the queen naming the conservative leader david cameron to the post just a short while ago. it happened after the labor party leader, the former prime minister gordon brown resigned.
all these dramatic developments coming after a very close parliamentary election last week that left neither party with a that jorty. still there are lots of questions and uncertainly about the new british government. uncertainty that can affect the united states, indeed the entire word. the new prime minister spoke out at number 10 downing street just moments ago. >> we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system. yes, that's about cleaning up expenses, yes, that's about reforming parliament, and yes, it's about making sure people are in control and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters. >> let's go to london with cnn's paula newton. how is this new prime minister, the new government, how is the relationship between the united states and britain likely to be impacted by this change? >> reporter: well, the new prime minister, david cameron, well known to president obama. they had a meeting when
president obama was here last summer. what is different, though, wolf is this election really turned up three losers. and in that sense, they've cobbled together a government between david cameron and nick clegg, the leader of that third party. what does that mean for the united states? much more difficult. they will continue to remain a strong ally of the united states. but in a sense the new prime minister will continually be looking over his shoulder, he'll have to have more consensus, have to consult much more widely. that's on a range of issues, banking reform, afghanistan, the economy going forward, the environment. this is a much different government stairing the white house in the face. not so much in terms of it going from labor to conservative but more about the nature of the coalition not seen here, wolf, in 70 years. >> we'll be learning a lot more about this new coalition and the prime minister david cameron. the president of the united states called the new prime minister about an hour ago. david cameron will lead this
first coalition government in great britain since world war ii. you heard paula newton report that. so what caused the vice president's son, bo biden, to suffer what doctors believe was a mild stroke? we're going to have the latest details on his condition. stand by for that. and it was a cross that sparked a major controversy, but now it's been stolen. i'd like one of those desserts and some coffee. - sure, cake or pie? - pie. - apple or cherry? - cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream.
files." >> president obama promised us all supreme court candidates that can relate to the real world, but there are questions about whether elena kagan fits that description. kagan comes from a world unknown, from manhattan's upper west side, to princeton university and on to harvard law school. former eliot spitzer joked saying are you suggesting that princeton, harvard and man hat ran aren't the totality of real life? so far, only one republican has publicly said he'll oppose kagan's nomination to the high court, james inhofe says she's concerned about kagan's lack of judicial experience. she's never been a judge. he also points to a decision as dean of harvard law school to block military recruiters from harvard's campus in protest of
the pentagon's don't ask, don't tell policy. and this could wind up being one of the big issues when her hearings roll around. other critics point to kagan's lack of litigation experience, and her scant writings. there's not the usual paper trail that's used to vet a supreme court nominee. kagan has no judicial experience, never been a judge, and has only written a few legal articles. also, some worry that her lack of a public record means that nobody knows what kagan stands for except president obama. still, others question kagan's hiring record. when she was dean of harvard law school, four out of every five hires were white men. not exactly a poster child for diversity. a lot of questions. here's our question -- is elena kagan the right choice to be the next supreme court justice? when do her hearings start, wolf? >> i'm guessing either the last
week of june or after july 4th. >> so we got a ways to go. >> yeah, they're going to have to do a thorough vetting and preparation before the hearings begin. thank you very much, jack. secretary of state hillary clinton is welcoming the afghan president hamid karzai to the united states for a series of public events on the eve of meetings with president obama. you're looking at these live pictures coming in right now. there's the afghan president and the secretary of state. we're monitoring what they're saying. we'll get you any news that emerges from these introductory comments. tomorrow is the big meeting at the white house. let's go over to the white house with dan lothian who is standing by. dan, set the scene for us, because it was tense only a few weeks ago, but now the obama administration is trying to make nice. >> that's right, wolf. sit a complicated process and
partnership here. sometimes karzai's words and actions get in the way. the white house may be touting signs of progress in afghanistan under president karzai, but administration officials aren't as quick to give him their full stamp of approval. >> he is an elected official, elected by the people of afghanistan. so that is the person with whom we have to work. >> we can't expect the united states and afghanistan to agree on every issue. we will not. >> reporter: just and nato forces are targeting the taliban in southern afghanistan, all part of president obama's strategy to stamp out a safe haven for terrorists. success depends on a reliable government, but carl eikenberry had a hard time defending karzai. >> president karzai is the elected president of afghanistan. afghanistan is a close friend and ally.
of course, i highly respect president karzai in that capacity. >> so you're -- [ inaudible ] criticized for not doing enough to root out corruption in its own government, a charge he denies. but steny hoyer isn't satisfied saying "the evidence to date has not been as hopeful as we would like." and karzai hasn't made any friends in the west and the u.n., who he says want a puppet government and are responsible for fraud in last year's elections. >> translator: the fraud is not by the afghans. this fraud has been done by the foreigners. >> reporter: u.s. officials see this trip as a chance to confront some serious challenges on a number of fronts, including civilian considerabasualties an chance to strengthen the partnership. wolf?
>> dan lothian at the white house for us. thank you. let's bring in our political analyst david gergen who has been watch thing relationship. it's a strange relationship, but a relationship that both sides right now are trying to position as being really good when we all know it isn't. >> that's for sure, wolf. this is a relationship that the united states officials privately have lamented for some time. the karzai government remains one which there's a lot of corruption and strong connections to drugs, including his own brother, who is down in the south. it's a very important part of that country. so the united states, in private, i think is still giving him a pretty hard time. we've had this huge shift from treating him with tough love, with being pretty tough on him in public, to now the president putting out word and "the washington post" telling his own team, treat him with more respect in publicly and we're almost going overboard here. i respect what they're doing
here, but it's odd to see the pendulum swing this wildly. >> karzai was saying the u.s. was involved in an occupation of afghanistan, he linked to tehran and had hugs and kisses with ahmadinejad, almost in defiance of what the united states was doing. and u.s. officials were deeply angry, although you wouldn't necessarily know that on the public statements we're seeing and hearing right now. >> oh, yeah. they all treat him with love and kisses here now. but there was a time just, as you say, a little while ago where karzai was saying he was so angry he might join the taliban. but neither side has a choice right now. the united states needs the karzai government to get the job done. the situation we're in, we've put the surge in there, we're in a better position militarily than we were a few months ago, but it's not going swiftly, because the afghans aren't prepared to come in to places like kandahar, places we've been
trying to get them in with police and army, they're not ready to fill in behind us. so we have to push that up. remember, the president has promised he wants to bring people out middle of next year. so the time pressure is on. >> and further complicating all this is karzai's brother, who is wildly seen as a drug dealer, if you will. and it's causing a lot of heartburn here in washington. >> no bed of roses on this one, but it's so important to the united states and we're making progress. you know, we were in a situation where the tide was moving against us, starting to move back in our direction. but we've got to get the afghans up and ready to take more responsibility. karzai seems to be the best instrument for doing that. that's why we've got this charm offensive under way. >> from tough love to a charm offensive. >> exactly. >> we'll watch it closely with you, david. thank you very much. another attempt to cap that
leaky oil well in the gulf could be hours away, but is it too late? i'll ask the interior secretary about what went wrong and what the administration can still do to try to make it right. and a controversial cross in the desert simply vanishes. you may remember it. it was at the center of a major supreme court case and we'll tell you what happened. and security cameras around every corner. could this so-called ring of steel prevent another bomb attempt in new york city? hi, i'm ellen. here's what i can do with 4g from sprint. i'm using my 4g mobile broadband card to download the multimedia client presentation my associate dave here was supposed to bring. and while that's happening, dave will attempt to explain to our boss why he left the one thing he was responsible for back at the office. okay, got it.
lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what do you have? >> vice president biden's son bo is recovering after suffering what doctors believe was a mild stroke. the delaware attorney general is in stable condition and being transferred from delaware to philadelphia hospital for further observation. doctors say he's fully alert and has full motor and speech skills. the 41-year-old returned from a year-long deployment to iraq in 2009 and announced in january he would not run for his father's senate seat. thieves have stolen the controversial cross that was at the heart of a supreme court case. the six-foot cross was taken late sunday or early monday from california's mohave desert.
it had been held in place by concrete. the supreme court ruled two weeks ago that the war memorial could stay on federal land. a couple and their two young children are missing after their house collapsed in a large sinkhole. canadian police have not seen any sign of life in the quebec home, which is now tilting on its side. rescuers called the father's cell phone and heard it ringing inside the house. engineers are not sure what caused that sinkhole. >> lisa, thank you very much. a lot of tough questions today for executives involved in that massive oil spill in the gulf. did officials at bp give the obama administration accurate information about the possible scope of an oil spill? i'll talk about that and a lot more with the interior secretary ke kent salazar. and gripping images of a car crash involving an infant. you're going to want to hear the full story, coming up.
than 12,000 surveillance cameras have detected the times square bomb suspect had that system existed in new york? new york city mayor michael bloomberg visits the uk to find out. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." but first, more on the new prime minister of britain. there you see the president on the phone in the oval office, speaking with david cameron, the new prime minister of the united kingdom. the white house has just released a statement saying that president obama has invited prime minister cameron and his wife samantha to visit washington this summer. the president reiterating his personal commitment to the special relationship between the two countries. as i told the prime minister, the statement says the united states has no closer friend and ally than the united kingdom. the new prime minister will be coming to washington this summer, probably in july. other news we're following. the growing oil spill in the gulf of mexico is prompting
changes within the interior department. the department announcing reforms today to toughen oversight of offshore oil and gas drilling operations. joining us now from the white house, the secretary of the interior, ken salazar. mr. secretary, thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you wolf. >> best case and worst case scenario, when does the oil spill end? >> best case, that it starts coming into some kind of containment over the weekend and into next week and the next couple of weeks. worst case is looking at august with a relief drill. we're doing everything to make it happen as fast as possible. >> realistically, the best case scenario, you get your hand on it, how realistic is that? >> here are the two key things that will happen over the next several days. first on this thursday, we should know whether or not this alternative top hat dam is going
to work. that's what is scheduled to happen on this thursday. the next key date is saturday. by saturday they'll have the diagnostics competed to be able to make decisions about what the next steps are in terms of top valve or a new preventative mechanism. so the key dates are this thursday and saturday relative to being able to predict on what will happen. >> if the smaller cap doesn't work, the next step would be to just take junk and throw it down there to stop it, is that right? >> well, with the top hat, what they have is a top hat that they will deploy but they have another mechanism in there. so they're going to try to go directly into the pipe. that won't stop the leak but mitigates the amount of oil flowing out, maybe as high as 85%. but the solution here is to stop
the leak and that's where they will move to these other alternatives like the valve and the relief valves. >> do you have a better sense of how many gallons a day are being spilled out there? >> the estimates are still the same. the numbers being used is about 5,000 barrels a day. >> 5,000 barrels a day. and that's still your best guess? >> that's the number that has been used. there are efforts under way to try to quantify the amount that has leaked from the beginning now, that this incident is in day 21 and there may be better numbers coming out. >> if this goes on for several more weeks, would this be the worst environmental disaster ever? >> well, i think there was huge environmental disasters. obviously exxon valdez, chernobyl and other things. it's very bad as it is today. our charge is to do everything that we can to protect the
environment and to protect the people of the gulf coast. the president has made it clear to all of us from day one that we are to be relentless in our purpose and we will not rest until we get the job done. >> based on what you know right now, is the department of interior too cozy with the oil and natural gas industry? >> you know, based on what i know now, wolf, the investigations will tell us more what happened in this incident. but it seems to me that a separation, which i directed today, to have the revenue functions separate from the police functions are very important. on one hand, you have the minerals management service collecting about $13 billion in revenue for the american taxpayer every day through the leasing of america's oil and gas resources. on the other hand, you have mms having the responsibility of policing those efforts.
so splitting it up is something that makes sense. >> you did that because you feared there was a built-in conflict of interest between these two parts of the minerals management service? >> we had been working on this effort a long time. it started last year with new ethics guidelines, ethics reforms with elimination of royalty and kind programs and a whole host of reforms under way. this reform is one that was in the works before this incident happened, this incident from our point of view made it necessary to expedite what we were planning on doing. >> "the washington post" had a story in early may, may 5th to be specific, that the department of interior exempted bp's gulf of mexico drilling operation, only a few months before this disaster coming to the conclusion this a massive oil spill was unlikely. what happened? was there a mistake that the department of interior made that gave this exemption to another
round of inspections for this drilling operation? >> wolf, this particular well and this lease has been subject to significant environmental reviews. second of all, there's another environmental review and impact statement that's conducted prior to the lease sale. so there's multiple layers of environmental reviews that actually occurred. what happened here will be taken with the approach that we want fresh eyes and accountability. we don't want any stone left unturned as we find the answers to what happened here and why it happened. and so we will have independent reviews and investigations coming in to make sure that we get the answers to these fundamental questions. because at the end of the day, as you know, wolf, what happens with respect to the development of our energy supplies in this
country is very important. the president has wanted to move forward with a comprehensive energy plan. we're implementing it with executive orders and doing a whole host of things like that. but oil and gas are very much part of our economy and energy security and the gulf coast supplies about a third of the oil and gas to the country. >> existing oil drilling operations will continue, but new ones you're putting on hold. is that right? >> existing oil operations will continue. we will not give out any additional permits until we complete the directive from the president, which is due at the end of may, on the safety issues that arise from this incident. >> ken salazar, the secretary of the interior, good luck to all the men and women working on this. we're counting on all you guys. >> we have an army working on it and we're not going to stop until we get it done. >> the president's new supreme
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president obama's supreme court nominee elena kagan will head to capitol hill tomorrow to start making courtesy calls to some of the senators who will be deciding whether she gets the job. she may get some questions behind closed doors about her staff on gays in the military. critics have suggested kagan is anti-military because when she was dean of the harvard law school, she upheld the policy preventing the u.s. military from recruiting on campus as an official student organization. the reason, its policy of don't ask, don't tell, which prevents gays from serving openly in the united states military. we're joined to discuss this now by our senior political analyst,
gloria borger. will this hurt her? >> it's clearly an issue which her opponents have struck on and they're going to mine that during the hearings. but you've got the question you just mentioned, which is the political question, is she anti-military? but in talking to some of her opponents today, they told me they're going to raise the legal question, which is why was she associated with a legal case, which the united states supreme court, which she wants to join, overturned unanimously and disagreed with her, including some of the democratic judges. so they're going to say, you know, she's really out of the legal main stream. so they're going to use this. >> she wrote a friend of the court amicus brief and it was rejected. >> unanimously. >> judge sessions is the top republican and he's not happy
about something else. >> it is a confirmation, it's not a coronation. the nominee has had some very aggressive political views in her life. it's going to be critical that whoever puts on the robe of the supreme court justice, that they be committed to following the law, even if they don't like it, even if they don't -- they wish it had been different. >> he's raising questions about her experience. >> we are hearing that from opponents. and the vice president went on television this morning and said judge rehnquist had never been a judge before he served on the court. other people say, well, he did have 16 years of practice has a april attorney. he wasn't an academic. but the world has changed since rehnquist was brought to the court. recent polls show that over 70% of the american public believe
that prior judicial experience is necessary to serve on the supreme court. so her opponents may have the public with her on this one and they're going to say, the court's not the place to get on the job training. >> we're going to have a major debate coming up in the next hour. thank you very much, gloria, for that. it's a frightening comparison. why is one senator suggesting that the united states debt could soon soar to the levels haunting greece right now. and taxes are at their lowest levels in 06 years. we'll talk about that and more in our strategy session. an orange a band-aid a stamp helium i got a mustache [pop] lipstick newants a room tonight nafor 65 dollars.ce, manager: we don't go lower than 130. negotiator: big deal, persuade him. manager: okay. $65 for tonight. negotiator: you can't argue with a big deal. announcer: big deal days are back on rental cars.
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♪ where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ from every mountainside ♪ let freedom ring joining us, our cnn political contribute fors. alex castellanos and paul begala. listening to judd gregg, he says if we continue to spend much more than we take in, we'll triple our debt in ten years and essentially be where greece is in about seven years. we are headed in that direction unless we reduce the level of debt and reducing the level of
our spending. is he right, that we're moving toward greece? >> absolutely he's right. if the stimulus spending that the democrats are doing here worked, greece would be the most prosperous nation in the world. if you're a government worker in greece, you get to retire in your 40s. it doesn't work. greece has the euro zone has to bail them out. guess who the united states has? the american taxpayer. the national debt will be $20 trillion in the next decade. >> he has the right message, he's just not credible messenger. judd gregg voted for the bush tax butts that took the clinton surplus and handled it to a tiny elite of the wealthiest. the deficit and the debt are
killing us and they're killing us because the republicans put them in place. and for judd gregg, a republican senator, who helped create those deficits to complain about this rings hollow. >> i love it when paul is so articulately misinformed. the top 10% of the american taxpayers pay 70% of our taxes. those are just the facts. >> that's not true. you left out a word, what word did you leave out? income taxes. >> that's right. >> not taxes. income taxes. sales taxes, gas taxes, all kinds of taxes that poor people pay, social security tax, the medicare tax. these are the taxes republicans like to raise. you like to cut taxes on the rich and raise them on the middle class. >> right now the gross domestic product, 18% of the revenue is taxes.
that has. n't clear that hasn't changed. >> there was a report based on this study that the tax bills right now, the tax levels in 2009 are the lowest since 1950. >> well, tax revenue collected by the government is at the lowest because the economy has collapsed. that's like saying a country where everyone starving is on a great diet. that's not the way it works. we have 10% unemployment, but tax rates haven't substantially changed. we're punishing the most successful job makers in the country. >> some dirtbag hedge fund manager isn't more productive than a master sergeant in the marine corps. they're the ones that get hammered by the republicans. when you suck up to the rich and saying we're punishing the most productive, they aren't, they're
just the most wealthy and they ought to pay their fair share. >> whether you're a maid or media consultant, the fact is, we don't create as many jobs as guys who make a lot of money. >> that's not true. >> you and i don't. >> the economy is driven by working class consumers. 2/3 of economic activity in america is consumers, which are people, not wealthy elites. this is the elitist economics that's part of the past and it failed us under bush and president obama is turning away from that to a much more all-american economics where we're cutting taxes. >> where you tax the heck out of everybody. >> you're saying when the bush tax cuts lapse at the end of this year and they go back to where they were during the clinton administration, what will happen? >> we're going to tax the most productive people in the economy, two by numbers do have the largest businesses, who do create the most jobs, and we're going to tie them up in a chair and say the productive and great
jobs for america, that's not right. >> your tax rate will go up to 39%. >> and it should because people like me got big tax cuts under the bush plan. it's just fine we pay our fair share. i won't have quite as much money -- we got the wizards, the larry king people got the wizards people to make wolf a jersey. >> oh, my god, what is this? look at that. >> we got the mascot of the wizards to bring you your 20th anniversary cake. >> thank you. >> see if you can get a word out of him. >> they're not allowed to talk. >> do you think elena kagan was a good nominee for the united states supreme court? >> are you with her, gee wizz?
i'm taking that as a yes. >> he loves elena kagan. >> he's a big kagan guy. are telling me they're wizards coming back. >> they are coming back, i got the word from flip saunders himself. >> 20 years, wolf? the average american works 20 years to pay taxes, so congratulations. you've been working for the government for 20 years! >> do you know what paul and the folks at larry king got me, a wizards' jersey with 20 on the back? you see that? >> if you suit it up, it could help. >> hail mcgee, the seven-footer they have. i've become a big wizards' fans, we'll see you at the game. they're coming back. >> all right, thank you. it's the so-called ring of steel. could a network of thousands of security cameras like london's have prevented the times square bomb square? michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york, is in new york right now to investigate. so are we. and the u.s. targets insurgents in pakistan with a series of drone attacks.
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let's get right back to jack for "the cafferty file." jack? >> the -- pardon me -- question this hour is elena kagan the right choice to be the next supreme court justice? steven writes from maine, kagan appears to be highly qualified academically as well as a sharp and likable person. in a recent article, though,
someone suggested that she has wanted a seat on the supreme court since she was a youngster. it almost appears her thin paper trail has been a lifelong strategy, calculated to help her clear senate confirmation. if her convictions were mainstream, this would not be necessary. mark writes, she apparently has the ability to go toe to toe intellectually with scalia. she reflects the character of the american people more than alito or roberts who reflect the character of the american corporation. she will make an immeshrably better justice than clarence thomas, but then so would my cat. as for being elitist, would you rather have joe the plumber? >> how can you say in one breath that you we don't know enough about her and ask in the other if she's the right choice. let the process run its course. toes who have the responsibility to decide her qualifications will find out what they need to know. dave writes, comes from a world unknown to most americans as did justice sotomayor, but apparently the south bronx is more real than the upper west
side? come on, jack, you've lived in new york long enough not to make a comment like that. yes, she's the right choice. but only because hillary clinton is indy pencible as secretary of state. kevin in illinois, i think she's a solid choice for the supreme court, and i believe barack obama would be a great choice as well when he's out of office in 2016. and mark in oklahoma, she's female, not a judge, dean of the harvard law school, intelligent, probably has some common sense. what else do you want? one of the gals from "the view"? if you want to read more on this, you can go to my blog at cnn.com/caffertyfile. maybe they should put whoopi goldberg on the supreme court? >> do you know what i love about your blog -- >> what? >> -- some of those comments that we get are so funny and clever. >> they're terrific. you know, you laugh out loud you read some of those. >> i know. it's a very bright group that watches this program. >> they are indeed. keep on watching it. >> there you go. >> don't go far away, jack, thank you. it's a dramatic firsthand
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you're in "the situation room." happening now -- a massive missile attack on a taliban sanctuary. u.s. drones targeting insurgents in pakistan's rugged border area. two dozen are reported dead. critics say such assaults may create new insurgents. a government shake-up for america's closest ally. britain gets a new prime minister, and he gets congratulations from president obama. but can conservative david cameron build a coalition that will allow him to remain prime minister? and the u.s. supreme court nominee, elena kagan, is under fire for a policy on military recruiting dating back to her days at harvard law school. we'll do a fact check on the controversy. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
there was a massive assault today on a taliban sanctuary in pakistan near the afghan border. u.s. drones fired volleys of missiles at insurgent targets. at least two dozen are reported killed. go straight to our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. barbara, what are you learning? >> well, wolf, the cia drones firing missiles, now the weapon of choice in pakistan for the u.s., but a weapon that comes at a price. >> reporter: pakistan's north waziristan region, the hideout for the pakistani taliban who the u.s. says were behind faisal shahzad's failed car bomb attack in times square. it's once again in the crosshairs of the cia's killer drones. on tuesday, a swarm of them fired nearly two dozen missiles at vehicles and compounds. at least 24 militants killed, in the region where the u.s. says shahzad was trained, but
officials so far not publicly saying the strikes are in retaliation for the failed new york attempt. but worries now that drone attacks could be creating new enemies. brett mcguirk, a national security council staffer for president's bush and obama said it's a tough trade-off. >> the risk of action here, of course, is driving the population towards the groups we're trying to weaken. that happens when we have civilian casualties which is something we're really trying to diminish. the risk of action dark the risks of inaction, however, i think are much higher, and the inaction is leaving a sanctuary in north waziristan. >> reporter: the new america foundation calculates more than 130 strikes since 2004. perhaps more than 1,300 pakistanis killed, the majority were militants. under the obama administration, the rate of strikes has significantly increased, and there won't be any letup. >> what about in terms of the things you need to do up in that area? i know it's a sensitive subject, but there are special force
operations from time to time. the drone operations which go in there. do you need more of that? >> well, i think -- i think we are doing what we need -- i would just say we're doing what we need to do. >> reporter: on capitol hill, senators question why another terror-fighting tool has yet to be used, adding the pakistani taliban to the u.s. list of terrorist organizations. >> if we shut off the money flow, we can significantly hamper their recruitment and training efforts. second, we would also be able to press criminal charges on anyone providing material assistance to the group. >> and, wolf, late today the state department said it is now considering adding the pakistani taliban to that terrorism list. wolf? >> why don't they just say what apparently is going on. they believe taliban -- the taliban in pakistan was responsible for the times square plot and in retaliation, the u.s. is sending these drones to try to kill as many of them as possible? why don't they just say that? >> well, wolf, i think the real
bottom line when you ask that question is, there is cia involvement in this entire program. no one in washington likes to talk about it publicly, but some months ago, the cia director, leon panetta, publicly acknowledged it. it's very sensitive because, of course, the cia firing weapons into pakistan, possibly killing pakistani civilians, puts the pakistani government right between the cia and the militants and that's a publicly uncomfortable position for everybody. so, we have a little curtain of fog here. we try and lift it every once in a while. >> barbara, thanks very much. a pakistani man with explosive residue on his clothing has been arrested at the u.s. embassy in santiago i, chile, a senior state department official said the suspect was called into the embassy so officials could revoke his american visa. when explosive traces were suspected, he was detained and turned over to chilean police. the man's apartment was officially searched and
officials in white hazmat suits were seen carrying items out of the building. we're working that story as well. in the wake of that failed times square car bombing, new york mayor michael bloomberg got an up-close look at london's veil of steel. bloomberg said london is way ahead of new york and he wants to bring back some of what we saw today. let's go to new york. cnn's mary snow is working this story for us. mary, explain what's going on? >> reporter: well, wolf, just in terms of how far behind new york is than london, the numbers say it all. in one estimate out there that london has perhaps as many as 500,000 cameras throughout the city. now, here in lower manhattan where i'm standing, there is an extensive surveillance camera program throughout lower manhattan. you can see some of the cameras behind me, and with those cameras there are also license plate readers throughout the city. and the mayor is hoping to learn from london's system and take a page from london.
he got an up-close look today at the subway system, as you remember the video surveillance cameras played a crucial role in the investigation of the london subway bombings back in 2007. like london, new york also has about 5 million subway riders a day. and the mayor's hoping to learn some lessons there. >> you know, we spend a lot of time talking back and forth, because what is applicable here is pretty much applicable there. we do some things they don't here. they do a lot of things we don't do. they're way ahead than new york in terms of having cameras that survey platforms. cameras help deter crime which is the thing we'd really like to do, but if a crime does occur, they are very useful in terms of finding out who did it and apprehending the guilty party. >> reporter: now, while the mayor was in london, new york's police commissioner was updating reporters about the surveillance system in new york. and he said there are two things where new york has an edge. one is that the city is aiming
for a more centralized system in terms of getting information from these surveillance cameras. and also there is the software program being worked on right now and being tested that could pick up things that could trigger an alert. for an example, a suspicious bag was left behind, that could perhaps trigger an alert. that's still in the works. now, we mentioned lower manhattan already has a system in place. it's still being developed. but this system is expected to be extended to midtown where times square is in the fall. one key thing, though, is money. it's expected to cost about $40 million to put this all in place. >> probably well spent, $40 million, all right, in the scheme of things, not all that much money. all right, mary, thanks very much. britain has a brand-new prime minister just an hour after labor's gordon brown handed in his resignation, queen elizabeth named the conservative david cameron as the country's new leader. it follows last week's election in which no party emerged as the clear winner, but brown's party
ended up as the real loser. listen to this -- >> in the face of many challenges in a very few short years, challenges up to and including the global financial meltdown, i have always strived to serve, to do my best in the interests of britain, its values, and its people. >> one of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system. yes, that's about cleaning up expenses, yes, that's about reforming parliament, and, yes, it's about making sure people are controlling -- in control, and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters. >> cnn's max foster is joining us now from london. he's outside number 10 downing street. max, we already heard from the white house. president obama has called, congratulated david cameron, invited him to come to washington this summer, saying the u.s./uk relationship is fabulous and the best in the world. but what can we really expect from this new british government? >> reporter: well, it's
interesting, you don't really see anything in the policy of the liberal democrats or the conservatives who will be working together in this new government on that. but i recently interviewed both nick clegg, the leader of the lib dems, and david cameron, on the special relationship, and i asked them about that, and both of them certainly pulling back from where gordon brown and tony blair stood on that relationship. david cameron saying they are our best friends, the americans, but you can say no to a best friend. and he said to me that actually he thought tony blair took things too far with the special relationship. nick clegg, a bit stronger, even, saying that you shouldn't do everything that america tells you. you should do everything in britain's best interests. so, certainly there is a slight change, but also david cameron does describe him as an atlantaist, he would have appreciated the call from the president. so, we'll see what happens when he is in power. but priorities are really at home right now, wolf, for the british prime minister. >> what are the major hurdles he faces right now, the new prime
minister? >> reporter: the major hurdle he's got, he arrived back to downing street before you came to me, and he was presided by george osborn and william hague and we're assuming he'll appoint george osborn as the finance minister and william hague the foreign minister, the two top jobs. that was a rumor earlier on and it seems to be confirmed the fact that the they of them are in the building behind me. looking ahead he has a very tough year, because the economy is in a terrible state. the budget deficit is huge for the developed world and he'll have to install cuts rapidly in the uk. it's going to be very painful. at the same time he's having to deal with a conservative liberal democrat coalition, which is fragile in many people's eyes, but we'll see how that plays out. >> max foster, thank you very much. we'll stay in close touch with you. jack cafferty is up next with "the cafferty file." and then a controversial decision comes back to haunt president obama's new supreme court nominee. two former assistant secretaries of defense, they are both here, live, this hour.
they'll debate elena kagan's limit on military recruits at harvard law school. and arlen specter is fighting for his political life right now. we'll take a look at his primary one week from today. and a witness to the fiery and deadly disaster in the gulf of mexico tells his story for the first time. equipped lexus es,a well to a well-equipped buick lacrosse. get inside each. and see what you find. if perfection is what you pursue, this just might change your course. meet the new class of world class. the twenty-ten lacrosse, from buick. may the best car win.
>> tiger woods -- woods, wolf, tiger woods is no longer just about golf. never mind what he says. his swing coach hank haney quit, says he wants to move on. woods won one-third of the tournaments he entered and more than $51 million while haney was his coach. nobody walks away from that kind of success, unless he sees something that the rest of us are beginning to see. since woods' so-called comeback he has been less than stellar. fourth at the masters, miss the cut at quail hollow after shooting a second-round 79 and then quit in the middle of the fourth round of the players championship last sunday. said he had a disk problem in his neck that's been bothering him since before the masters. but last friday when he was asked about his health, he told a reporter he was 100%, no problems. like the details surrounding the thanksgiving crash of his suv, something is missing. and now the man who coached one of the greatest golf swings ever, hank haney, is also
missing. and suddenly, woods is noncommittal about playing in the u.s. open in june. when he was in rehab, he was forced to confront a lot of things that probably made him very uncomfortable, but when he returned to golf, the bravado was still there, the arrogance and impatience were still there. you could see him trying to mask it, but they were all still there. what was missing was the golf game. granted when you're blessed with the kind of ability tiger woods has, it's probably too soon to count him out. but there are growing signs that tiger woods is a very long way to coming to term with himself and his demons, and until he's able to do that, he's going to continue to struggle. i know. i've been there. here's the question -- what can the rest of us learn from tiger woods? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> all right, jack, thank you. as soon as the president announced elena kagan as his supreme court pick, the battle for confirmation has begun. last year when the senate
confirmed kagan as solicitor general over at the justice department, only a handful of republicans supported her. arlen specter, then a republican, was not one of them. but now specter is a democrat. and after switching parties, he's in a very, very close fight to keep his senate seat. he's running against congressman joe sestak in next tuesday's pennsylvania primary. so, how will that impact his vote on kagan's confirmation? our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, has been looking in to this. you had a chance to catch up with specter as well. >> that's right, arlen specter right now is the only democrat in the senate to vote against elena kagan for solicitor general last year. it's one week from today that specter will face those pennsylvania democratic primary voters who will decide whether to send him back to the senate. specter now says he is open to the idea of voting for kagan for the supreme court. so, i went to his small office inside the capitol, known as the hide-away, and i asked him about this.
there are people who say arlen specter is now open-minded to elena kagan's nomination because of pure political opportunityism. you were a republican then, and now you're neck in neck in a primary battle to get a democratic primary. >> people would expect me to make a judgment after the hearing has been held, after we know what her views are and when the process has taken its course. people will not expect me to make a knee jerk reaction before i know the facts of the issues and have an opportunity to make a formulated, considered judgment, and that is exactly what i will do, as i always do. >> now, specter's opponent, congressman joe sestak, who in some polls is actually beating arlen specter right now, was seizing on this issue, he said specter is backtracking and also banking on the fact that democratic primary voters who are hardcore party people generally, they want political purity, and, wolf, in this case that would mean voting for the
democrat president's pick for the supreme court. >> how is president obama, if at all, getting involved between now and next tuesday? >> well, he has supported arlen specter. he still supports specter. in fact, just today the senator and his campaign put up a brand-new ad showing president obama, essentially saying he loves arlen specter. but one thing i asked given his support for you, is there any way you can arrange a quick meeting twedge and you elena kagan so you can say you feel comfortable and whether or not you feel comfortable and i'll support her? no, the president knows i have an independent streak and that's not going to be enough for me. it's worth noting interestingly on the supreme court, arlen specter has been in the senate for a long time, he's voted every single time for supreme court nominees in front of him, except one, robert bork. >> i remember that very, very well. dana, thank you very much. she limited military recruitment at harvard law school, now the supreme court
nominee elaiena kagan, is under fire for doing so. we'll debate it. and a rogue satellite could leave you without tv. a drama is unfolding in space right now. get ready. ♪ [ male announcer ] winning more awards for quality and customer service than any other luxury manufacturer the last 10 years says something. yet, the award we value most is the fact that lexus has had more repeat, loyal drivers, in more of the last 10 years, than any other luxury automotive brand. to express our thanks, we're featuring our best values of the year. giving you unprecedented access to lexus. at your lexus dealer. i view the process of selecting a supreme court nominee as among my most serious responsibilities as president.
i will seek someone with an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the american people. it will also be someone who knows that in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.
lisa sylvester's monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. stories coming in from around the world. lisa, what do you got? >> hi, wolf. well, about 50 students at a girls' school in north afghanistan has been hospitalized after a suspected poison attack. some of the girls lost consciousness and the attack appears similar to several other attempted attacks against girls' school in the same province and in the capital last week. officials believe that militants who oppose education for girls are behind the attacks. and an out-of-control satellite could cut programming to u.s. cable networks. the owners of the rogue communications satellite say it's still sending and receiving signals at full strength, but it hasn't responded to steering commands since early april, and now it's heading right into the
signal path of a satellite that serves u.s. cable companies. that satellite's owners won't say which cable channels or providers could be affected, but you will know if your cable goes haywire around may 23rd, you'll know the reason why. in and we are getting our first look at dramatic video that may be difficult to watch. security camera footage from australia shows a car crashing into a man as he protects his infant son by holding him against his chest. the father was pinned between the car and a store window with a broken leg, but miraculously, his son, his infant son, was unhurt. the man's parents were also injured in the crash, but the incident happened two years ago and we know they are okay. wolf? >> thanks very much, lisa. we'll get back to you. ted turner, by the way, will be among my guests in "the situation room" tomorrow, tomorrow ted turner, 30 years ago, june 1st, created cnn. we'll talk a little bit about that. we'll talk about a whole bunch
of other subjects as well. my special interview with ted turner. he hired me 20 years ago this week, among other things. talk a lot. he's always got something to say. a fight over president obama's supreme court nominee, front and center. what exactly does elena kagan bring to the table? did she try to block military recruiters from harvard law school? coming up next, a debate between two former assistant secretaries of defense. also, what happened the moment that oil rig burst into flames? you're going to hear the dramatic story. and vice president joe biden's son, beau biden, is hospitalized. ♪ well, look who's here. it's ellen. hey, mayor white. how you doing? great. come on in. would you like to see our new police department? yeah, all right. this way. and here it is. completely networked.
the afghan president, hamid karzai's, been over at the state department meeting with the secretary of state, hillary clinton, they got together and they stressed the importance of a strong u.s./afghan relationship. listen to the secretary of state -- >> clear to everyone that the partnership between our two countries reflects a long-term commitment to the people of afghanistan, and it is not just what the obama administration or the american government, it is with the american people.
our nation and, and, mr. president, there are dozens of nations represented in this room by their diplomatic delegations. we share an interest in helping build an afghanistan that is stable and secure, that can provide prosperity and progress and peace for its citizens. the only way that can come about is with our support as they take responsibility for their defense and their development, to exercise their sovereignty and be integrated into a more prosperous and secure region. >> hamid karzai, the afghan president, also underscored the importance of a strong u.s./afghan relationship, and he pointed out that he came to the state department after visiting with u.s. wounded troops at the walter reed army medical center. >> have given afghanistan all that we have achieved together in the taxpayer money and much more important than that, in the
sacrifice of its sons and daughters. as you recalled, i visited walter reed this morning, where i met with soldiers, young ones, who had lost legs and arms. some were blinded. 900 of such young soldiers had gone through the walter reed hospital. i'd done the same sometime back in our hospitals in kabul. that was a moment of immense thinking. for me as a -- >> we're going to have a lot more on this story tomorrow when hamid karzai meets with the president over at the white house. other important news we're following right now, including that massive oil spill in the gulf of mexico. cnn's rob marciano has been tracking what's going on, especially the impact of the spill on wildlife. >> reporter: okay, folks, we
have some dolphins coming up. if you look a little bit to your right -- >> i saw another one. >> reporter: west ship island is the destination. part of the gulf island national seashore and home to more than 300 types of birds. captain louie scremetta's company runs this tour for the national park service. the oil spill now threatens his protected paradise just ten miles offshore. >> they can't get this thing capped off, it's going to be a ka stas tcatastrophe for the na resources in this region. katrina is long in our past. that's nothing compared to what -- what's out there. >> have a good time today. >> reporter: the scenery here has definitely changed. >> they want to know, is the oil here. >> reporter: not yet. so, the beach tours continue. >> and we're just going to go this direction down the beach and see what we find. >> reporter: only minutes later,
the sight of a motionless bird brings more of an uncertainty. >> i'm not sure it's an oil casualty. >> reporter: the rangers both the death was natural. meanwhile, back on the mainland, life begins anew. as common as traffic is along highway 90 are birds, lots of them, and between this road and the gulf of mexico, lies this nesting area of least terns. this is the time of year where they lay their eggs and nest. and like most parents, they're pretty protective. speckled gray eggs dot the landscape as hundreds of mommies and daddies swirl above the sand. >> they migrate from many, many miles away. >> reporter: alison sharp rescues injured animals and said birds don't have an anti-oil instinct. >> they would probably still dive if they were looking for fish, you know, they're out here trying to survive, and i don't think that they're really looking at oil. they're looking at, you know, what could potentially be their only meal for that day. >> reporter: so far just one oil
pelican has been rescued and released back into the wild. >> you may not see this directly right now, but there is going to be an impact. >> reporter: not even the tip of the iceberg yet. >> no. it's going to be like almost in a sense like a domino effect. >> cnn's rob marciano on the scene for us, covering this disaster. in the gulf of mexico. when we come back, a major debate on elena kagan, president obama's supreme court nominee. did she do the right thing when she was dean at harvard law school in preventing the u.s. military from recruiting on campus because of the pentagon's don't ask, don't tell policy? stand by. the debate, right after this.
the supreme court nominee elena kagan has been solicitor general over at the justice department for just over a year. but she's never been a judge, and her paper record on some of the most important issues is relatively thin. so, attention is on her tenure over at harvard law school where she served as dean. one of her controversial decisions, limiting the accession of u.s. military recruiters to campus. lisa sylvester's been looking in to that. she's got a little fact check for us. lisa, what did you find out? >> well, wolf, you know, her decision comes with a little bit of context. to understand you have to go something called the solomon amendment that congress passed
in the mid-1990s. it allows the department of defense to withhold funds from any university or college that does not allow the military to use the school's career services office to recruit students. in 2002, after 9/11, the bush administration started vigorously enforcing that rule at colleges across the country, many law schools openly opposed allowing military recruiters full access to campus, among them harvard law school's dean, elena kagan. >> reporter: harvard law school's anti-discrimination policy requires employers recruiting on campus to not discriminate on any basis, including sexual orientation. because of the don't ask, don't tell policy, the university limited military recruiters access to campus, but that changed in 2002, when the air force challenged the issue, citing the solomon amendment. harvard university stood to lose federal funding for research, about 15% of its budget, unless it lifted the ban. in an october, 2003, letter to harvard law students and
faculty, elena kagan, then harvard's law school dean, reluctantly agreed to lift the restrictions. but added, quote, this action causes me deep distress, as i know it does a great many others. i abhor the military's discriminatory recruitment policy. the importance of the military to our society and the extraordinary service that members of the military provide to all of the rest of us, makes this discrimination more, not less, repugnant. the solomon amendment was challenged by a group of law schools. november, 2004, the third circuit court of appeals sided with the university. one day later, kagan once again banned the military from using the on-campus services to recruit. but kagan's actions and words are now being dissected, as she seeks to become the next supreme court justice. kurt levy with the conservative committee for justice said she has a demonstrated hostility to the armed forces. >> yeah, i think the president will be surprised at how the
american people react to it. i think in his world, again, his harvard law school world, kicking the military off campus is no big deal. but i think to the american people think it's a big deal, and i think this is going to endanger her confirmation. >> reporter: but her defenders say even throughout the controversy, she praised the extraordinary service of men and women in uniform and as dean reached out to veterans and that the fight was never against the military, but was about a principle. kent greenfield founded the lead group that fought the solomon amendment. >> so, our limitations on military recruitment during that period were -- were -- was based on our belief in nondiscrimination. it was a fight to allow all of our students to serve their nation, regardless of their sexual orientation. >> now, the solomon case made it to the u.s. supreme court, which unanimously overturned the third circuit court's decision in 2006, and kagan again had to allow military recruiters the same access to students as government and private
employers. wolff? >> thank you very much for the background. let's debate what's going on, two former assistant defense secretaries are joining us. frank gaffaney, first to you, she said anybody who comes to the campus, like other law school deans, whatever organization you represent, you can't have a discriminatory policy on religion, ethnic background, or -- or sexual gender, whatever, and so she was just upholding that principle and preventing the pentagon fro. >> we have so little to go on, what we have to do is focus really intensively on the few bits of information or insight into her feelings, her thinkings, her policies, her judgment. and what i think she said beyond that i just need to conform to this policy is that this is a moral offense of the first
order, kind of up there were holocaust, and she then i think when she was overturned, overwhelmingly, even by the justice she's going to be replacing, by the way, a the amicus brief that she filed in this case, it turned out -- it turned out that she wasn't going to quit her job over it. she wasn't going to actually do more than posture on this. so, we don't have much to go on. it's kind of like barack obama's law school record. we don't have much to go on there, too, and we need to get to the bottom of this. >> she never made any comparisons to the holocaust. you are describing it. she said it was a moral imperative. >> she said it was a moral objectionable affront of the first order. >> she didn't lose. the argument she made was unanimously rejected by the supreme court. >> she allowed them on the campus until the third circuit court of appeals said that the solomon amendment was wrong. but -- and then they were allowed on campus, they weren't allowed to use the career service.
they were never, never, at her time prevented from going to the law school or being on scam pus. i think that's the first thing to keep in mind. >> using the facility. they were supposed to use under the solomon amendment. >> okay, for six months, only six months while the third -- she didn't do the third circuit court of appeal, but she joined with other law school deans in supporting it. >> well, the argument was the u.s. military did not have the same rights and privileges of recruiting on campus that law firms would have or goldman sachs would have or other private organizations. >> okay, for six months, the only time, six months out of her six years. the other thing to keep in mind, if you read her statement, it sounds just like admiral mullen, kagan and mullen, i'll put their statements together. i was in the military in the '60s the same time as mullen and we had gay people. and he basically said it's morally wrong for us to be doing this, so to say she is somehow different from our military leaders and unpatriotic, you'd
have to say admiral mullen is. >> the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and he finds it morally wrong that gays cannot serve openly in the u.s. military as they can in almost all the nato allied army. >> he's the one member of the joint chiefs of staff who has taken that position. the rest of them have not. and i think what's important here is he doesn't have a lifetime appointment to act in a way that it suggests she feels she should. which to say to disregard the law. admiral mullen understands it is the law of the land today that prescribes, that prohibits, avowed homosexuals from serving in the united states military, unless and until that law is changed, by court fiat, perhaps, or by repeal, that's the law and you can bet that admiral mullen is going to support that law. >> it was a law that bill clinton pushed through with a compromise with general colin powell. >> it was pushed and it was pushed on him. >> he supported it. >> no. >> because the overwhelmingly body of evidence -- >> frank, frank -- >> basically clinton wanted to
drop the ban completely. the congress as a compromise said as long as you don't openly say that. but, you know, the interesting thing evolved -- as long as you don't -- but the interesting thing is while we were discharging thousands of gay people, okay, at this time, including arabic speakers, the military was recruiting felons that couldn't make their goals. it made no sense. if anything, if we had listened to her, we'd be in much better shape, than if we had listened to admiral -- >> it becomes a bigger argument of gays serving openly in the united states military and robert gates, the secretary of defense, said in the next several months there will be a decision. he wants the long-standing policy reversed. >> probably not. >> it will be up to congress in the end as you point out. thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. the vice president's son, has been hospitalized, we'll have the latest.
here's cnn's ed lavandera. >> reporter: this is the story of captain alwin landry's longest night at sea. >> it was not deafening loud, but definitely, you know, was abrupt. bits of debris flying from the deck. the rig, definitely my crew members were definitely below deck. >> reporter: landry is captain of the damon bead bankston cargo ship. they brought the survivors of the deepwater horizon oil rig safely to shore. as you look back on it, it's been three weeks now, are you left a little bit speechless about what you went through? >> hearts are heavy for the 11 that didn't make it on the horizon. extremely proud of my crew and their performance. >> reporter: landry testified before federal investigators tuesday in new orleans, and spoke with cnn. landry calls the hours after the explosion simply as intense.
the bankton cargo ship was stationed just alongside the oil rig, mud from the oil well was being loaded onto his ship. what it was like there in the moments before this explosion? >> before the explosion, everything was tranquil and normal. until we started getting the mud started coming down on the boat and the rig. >> reporter: as the mud and debris shot out of the oil rig and showered down on landry's ship, she could hear a hissing sound, the natural gas shooting out of the oil well. he said he was told to move his ship away from the platform, and a few minutes later the rig exploded. >> a horrifying scene? >> a few people panicked on the rig that apparently jumped premature. the majority of the people came down in the life capsule. there was a few injured in the life raft. >> reporter: in less than an hour, landry and his 15-man crew found the escapees from the rig.
he hasn't seen any since then. >> the few guys that the were with me, the rig's management team, the gratitude and the thanks that night was quite embracing. >> cnn's ed lavandera reporting. jack cafferty's coming up next with your e-mail. then, one of vice president joe biden's sons hospitalized. to a well-equipped buick lacrosse. get inside each. and see what you find. if perfection is what you pursue, this just might change your course. meet the new class of world class. the twenty-ten lacrosse, from buick. may the best car win. into revolutionary performance. one word makes the difference between defining the mission
he was transferred from a delaware hospital to philadelphia for observation and evaluation. beau biden is 41 years old. he recently served in iraq with the delaware national guard. we wish him a speedy, speedy recovery. let's go to jack cafferty. he's got "the cafferty file." >> the question in howe hour is what can the rest of us learn from tiger woods. david writes it's really easy. he's so busy trying to win back endorsements, put on the humble face for the media and avoid further humiliation he's not focused on the game. behind the scenes he's probably explosive to anyone around him. i imagine that's why his swing coach left. we expected a breakthrough that after rehab maybe he'd be better than before. but let's face it he's a human being that's not infallible. he'll be back but the scars are going to show. audrey says you can learn that if you are a nonwhite person you are held to a higher standard. you have your soul mate argentina visiting governor,
your louisiana politician whore house visitor, call girl visiting new york your having a love baby wannabe presidential candidate and your parents paying off the mistress in nevada and no of those received the media tear-down that tiger woods did. and he's only playing a sport. eddie writes, at this point woods is a walking textbook of what not to do and how not to act. i don't think for a minute he's conquered his demons because his arrogance is too great. there's no humility in this man and no joy on or off the course. he seems ruled by control and compulsions, never a good combination. greg writes, he's done. if there was ever a sport where one negative emotion or fear can mushroom cloud into physical inabilities it's golf. every time he puts a tee in the ground or loins up a putt he knows the eyeballs and cameras are on him but for different reasons than the previous 30 years. he enjoyed the pressure and stare when he was a young phenom shock sth world of golf. now the attention is much more
negative. mike writes from pennsylvania. watching tiger disgrace himself reminds me of an interview with a mega lottery winner who once say giving a few hundred million dollars to a morally weak person is like pouring miracle-gro on weeds. if you want to read more go to my blog cnn.com/cafferty file. see you tomorrow. >> thank you. the california governor arnold schwarzenegger explains why he's afraid to go to arizona. that and more coming up at the top of the hour on john ki"john us usa". plus a play boig "center fold unlike any other. y? first they drive it in the real world. and put it through its paces. they rate its fit and finish. and the amenities inside. they factor in purchase price and operating costs, fuel economy and resale value. in short, they do what you do to test its quality. the consumers digest best buys from chevy. put them to your own test. and may the best car win.
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♪ (announcer) right now, all over the country, discover card customers are getting five percent cashback bonus at home improvement stores. it pays to get more, it pays to discover. "playboy" is adding a whole new dimension to its play mate ever the year literally. cnn's jeanne moos takes a most unusual look. >> reporter: ready? lo and behold, it's "playboy's" latest center fold in 3d. >> this is the beautiful naked body in three dimensions jumping out of the place into your arms.
>> reporter: maybe not into your arms but still -- >> it looks very realistic like i could just touch her. >> think i'm in a strip club. she's right in front of me about to dance. >> reporter: okay, guys. now you're getting creepy. surrender the glasses. actually they're rather flimsy glasses come with the issue. you assemble them yourselves all in hopes of seeing every dimension of model hope dworaczyk play might of the year. >> hef wanted to do this with the first issue of "playboy." >> reporter: but it was too expensive way back then. now cnn's fellow time warner company hbo is picking up part of the cost to advertise its series "true blood." "playboy's" first ever 3d center fold. what do you think? >> do you have a copy of "playgirl." >> reporter: sorry, no center fold for gay readers. unfortunately putting the glasses in front of the camera don't make it work on tv. >> makes it appear larger than it should be. >> reporter: actually it's a
growing part of porn. hustler is planning a 3d spoof of "avatar." "saturday night live" already featured navi lovemaking. >> that's crazy stuff. where did you learn that stuff? >> college. >> reporter: "playboy" isn't exactly breaking new ground. "sports illustrated" has done 3d photo spreads twice already. >> wow! >> reporter: with the swimsuit edition. >> but who cares about "sports illustrated"? >> reporter: how do they feel that readers might be tempted to touch their 3d image. >> i don't even want to go there. >> reporter: critics say "playboy's" circulation is dwindling but "playboy" sees things through rose colored and turquoise colored glasses. >> a big day for men everywhere who want to see women in three dimensions. >> reporter: at least 3d dispels the notion that nude mod elms are one dimensional. which part looks st